330 €per person
Departure place: La Spezia
Notes: Available everyday. Please note: from November to March the tour is only on request.
Tour available from 01/04/2019 to 31/10/2019
Enjoy a region of Italy known for its mild climate, charming port towns, beautiful landscapes and fresh local cuisine. The narrow strip of land known as the Ligurian coast is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site “Cinque Terre,” a stunning national park free of vehicular traffic and perfect for romantic getaways or fine culinary experiences. The regional cuisine of Liguria is based on seafood, fresh vegetables and herbs, such as in the famous pesto alla Genovese. In a few days you will be able to explore this region, its history, culture and culinary highlights always taking your time and doing everything at your own pace.
Day 1: Welcome at La Spezia
Check-in at the booked hotel or guest-house/apartment. Upon arrival, you receive a welcome package containing information about the territory and the proposals for your visits in the next days. The package also comes with all necessary vouchers regarding the services included in the tour. Dinner is booked in a characteristic restaurant in La Spezia where you will be offered a menu with typical specialties of the area.
Extra: instead of going to a restaurant this evening, you might find it more interesting to take part at our Food & Wine tour. Together with other food lovers, you will taste and smell your way through the city trying the typical kitchen of this town. The food guide will bring you to historic shops, delis and restaurants where you will try six typical Ligurian dishes. The guided walk starts at 5pm and ends at around 8pm in a cozy restaurant where an original aperitif is served. Supplement for food tour: € 47,00 per person
Day 2: Mussel farmers under the castle of Lerici
This morning you will be travelling by motorboat from La Spezia through the Gulf of La Spezia in order to visit and learn about one of the main activities in this area: fish and mussel farming. The Gulf of La Spezia is famous for growing mussels, called cozze or muscoli, which are a particularly flavorful breed, briny and delicious. The farmers look after the harvesting, treatment and distribution of more than six thousand tons of mussels, with a total turnover of about 6 million euros. If you have never tried them, this is your chance. After having seen where and how these mussels are produced, you will now taste a delicious lunch prepared with local mussels.
After lunch, the motorboat takes you to the nearby town of San Terenzo where you can relax on the sandy beach or walk over to Lerici and have a look at its medieval castle overlooking the picturesque fishing village. In the afternoon, you will take the ferry boat to beloved Porto Venere, located on a rocky peninsula in the Gulf of Poets. This enchanting little sea town was once popular with poets and writers such as Byron, Shelley and Lawrence. The small harbor lined with colorful houses, its narrow streets leading up to the castle and the church standing on top of the rock are perfect for a romantic stroll.
Day 3: Taste the Cinque Terre
The first stop this morning will be Levanto, the northern gateway to the Cinque Terre. During the morning, you will learn how to prepare the legendary pesto sauce, starting to know all about the basil harvest and the assembling of the necessary ingredients. You will learn the insider tricks of how to make the true pesto sauce, using mortar and pestle just like the Italians do. The results can be tasted right after the small cooking lesson together with a glass of wine.
Then, you travel on and in only five minutes by train you will reach Monterosso, the largest of the five lands and famous for its wine and anchovies. In a local Enoteca in the ancient town, you can taste the wines made exclusively in Monterosso, the traditional white wine of this area and the precious sweet wine Sciacchetrà. You also acquire information about and taste another local tradition: the famous Monterosso Anchovies.
You can then spend the afternoon to discover the other villages of the Cinque Terre. Using your train day-ticket you will be able to move between one and the other in only a few minutes time. Enjoy the colorful houses in Riomaggiore and Manarola, hike up to Corniglia, the only village without a marina, and finally relax in Vernazza, the most romantic one of the five lands, ideal for picture and coffee time.
Check-out and departure. Or extend your stay if you wish.
Extend your stay, and explore some more highlights:
Day 4: Discover precious marble, the world’s best lard and local wine
Today, you get to know a fantastic and truly unique world – the marble quarries of Carrara. You will discover the beauty of the precious marbles, the challenging environment and the struggle that for centuries men had to endure against nature so that master artists like Michelangelo could find the raw material for their masterpieces. The guided tour will take you into one of the marble caves, explain the various quarries, extracting techniques and all tools used during the ages, from roman period until today.
However, there is another precious item, a regional specialty: Lardo di Colonnata is made using two great Tuscan products: the white marble from the Apuan Alps and pork, the main type of livestock in the region.
The best lardo of Italy is undoubtedly produced in Colonnata, and you will certainly taste it.
In the early afternoon, you are welcomed in one of the most important wine growing estates in the Val di Magra area. The Magra Valley marks the border between Liguria and Tuscany and produces “Colli di Luni” DOC superior wines: Vermentino, white and rosè wines from the hills of Castelnuovo Magra and Ortonovo, and red wines from other areas close by. The visit includes the wine cellar, vineyards and the private museum. A tasting of the wines and some typical snacks will follow.
In the afternoon, you can relax on the sandy beaches of Marina di Carrara or discover the charming medieval town of Sarzana.
• a) 3 or 4 nights in double room with private bathroom in 4-star hotel La Spezia, breakfast included
• b) 3 or 4 nights in double room with private bathroom in 3-star hotel La Spezia, breakfast included
• c) 3 or 4 nights in self-catering apartment in La Spezia
• Roadbook with description of suggested itineraries
• 1 dinner with 3 courses in restaurant at La Spezia, drinks not included
• Boat ride to the mussel farm and light lunch with mussel specialities
• Ferry boat ride from Lerici to Porto Venere and from Porto Venere to La Spezia
• Cinque Terre Train Card valid for one day, including unlimited train rides with local trains between La Spezia and Levanto, entrance fee National Park Cinque Terre and trails. The card includes further services of the National Park, such as the use of the public buses and free Wi-Fi at the National Park’s hotspots.
• 1 pesto sauce cooking lesson with tasting
• 1 tasting of Cinque Terre wines and anchovies
additional services in case of the 4-day package:
• Guided tour into a marble cave (about 40 minutes)
• 1 Lardo tasting
• 1 wine tasting of Magra Valley wines (included guided visit to the wine cellar)
• city tax, to be paid directly to the hotel.
→ The tour should preferably be booked from April to October (while from November to March it might be necessary to replace or cancel some seasonal activities)
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